Predetermined and competing theological positions have relied on research on the causes of sexual orientation. Even though there is still much unknown, peer-reviewed scientific literature reveals that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contributes to sexual orientation, with approximately one-third of the variance now assigned to the former. There is no clear evidence that the social environment has a significant role in the recognized environmental influences. A lot here has to do with theology, and critique of theology and science about sexual orientation should be given more consideration.
It’s fair to say that scientific research into the causes of sexual orientation has generated more controversy than it deserves. “Born gay” claims obscure scientific consensus on what is (and isn’t) known since they elicit strong reactions from people with political and moral views and those with religious beliefs. Most of the research methodologies used to examine human sexuality are similar or comparable to those used to explore other psychological traits and behaviors that are less contentious. However, there are still many questions that remain unanswered, and this research has its limitations.
Some have argued that science does not inform moral or theological reasoning since there is no proof or consensus on certain crucial concerns. In reality, there are excellent reasons to believe that what we already know may be relevant to discussions on theology and ethics. Throughout this article, I will address these points in further detail. At this point, it’s crucial to highlight that many professional organizations’ ethical positions are currently based on the assumption that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexuality. Understanding the causes of this variation helps elucidate the moral grounds for that position.
This post isn’t just about why people are gay in isolation, as we should clarify. Ask questions like “Why am I gay?” or “Why do they seem so different?” simply because they are in the minority. It is all the same when it comes to the scientific subject of why most people are attracted to heterosexuals and why some are attracted to homosexuals exclusively. When it comes to sexual attraction, some of us (gay men and women) are drawn to males, while others (gay women and men) are attracted to women. What is it about other people that make us want to have sexual relations with them?
Here, we’ll take a quick look at the scientific information about what influences our sexual orientation before identifying some potential areas for theological exploration. In examining the scientific data, I’m happy to appreciate the work of several other critical reviews, particularly Michael Bailey and his colleagues, to which I’ve replied. Instead of delving deeply into theological issues raised by science, I hope to make the case that these issues merit more time and attention than they have received thus far.
To do an empirical study, scientists must first define terminology and concepts. As a result, it must be broken down and translated into a scientific vocabulary for a survey. It’s important to remember that scientific phrases aren’t always interchangeable with everyday lingo or the terms that individuals prefer to use to describe themselves. Many clinical reports include glossaries of definitions to help patients better understand the terminology used in discussions of human sexuality. The first step in examining scientific data on sexual orientation is to ensure that terminology is clear.
“Gender” will be used here largely regarding the social roles connected with a person’s gender identity. Depending on the social and cultural environment, gender is viewed differently, and several factors contribute to one’s sense of gender identity. Because homosexuality is considered differently in different cultures, it is important to consider the social and cultural contexts in which the term is used when discussing sexual identity (defined based on one’s sexual orientation).
Sexual orientation refers to a person’s primary sexual interest. To describe one’s sexual orientation, people use labels like “homosexual,” “heterosexual,” or “bisexual,” depending on whether they are attracted to the same or the opposite sex. Androphilia and necrophilia can be defined as a preference for male or female, without regard to the gender of the individual who is attracted to the other gender. This is, in some respects, a more scientifically sound approach.